Common Questions

  Below are some of the frequently asked questions received by the  IT Service Desk.
Hand holding eyeglasses, laptop behind
  1. I am a new member of staff. How do I get my password?
  2. Where should I save my work?
  3. How can I access my email?
  4. Can I change my email address?
  5. How do I create or use other calendars?
  6. Which Google Apps can I use?
  7. Should I use a Delegated Account or a Mailing List?
  8. How do I get access to a delegated account or mailing list?
  9. How can I access journals and databases from home?
  10. What happens to my accounts when I leave?

I am a new member of staff. How do I get my password?

You can set a new password yourself at:

  • This will require your username. This can be found from the Contact Directory two days after you are added to staff records (the first half of your initial email address).
  • It will also require your non-University email address and your mobile number as entered into your staff record.
  • This can be done two working days or more after you are entered into staff records (PIMS) or on the day your contract starts (whichever is last).

If your staff record does not hold the necessary or correct information, please ask your department to enter it. For more details see New Starters.


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Where should I save my work?

See Filestores.The University provides network drives for all members of the University, which are backed up and allow you to restore lost work as well as being available from anywhere using the remote desktop.

  • All users should have a personal folder on MyFiles. This is intended for your personal work. You can find your MyFiles path on the Service Device Personal Details Page.
  • We provide a Departmental Filestore for staff and sometimes for students. Many staff have access to shared folders, network drive locations that can be accessed by all relevant staff. To gain access to an existing shared folder, see Connecting to University filestores
  • For high volume research data, there is the Research Data Storage Facility. See also our detailed advice on Research Data Management.
  • For collaborative work, notably with those outside the University, we recommend using Google Drive. Google Drive provides the same functionality as Dropbox, with added security. A desktop client can be installed on staff computers on request to the Service Desk.

To avoid losing your work, always make sure when you save it that it is saved in a known location. If you are not sure, use Save As (in Microsoft Office you can use the F12 key) to see where the file is currently saved. Similarly, when opening an email attachment that you will work on, save it to a known location first and open it from there.

Please refer to the information security website on how to manage your data.


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How can I access my email?

For more information on our email services, please see Google mail.

The links on the Google mail page use single sign-on (i.e. using your normal UOB username and password). When using a mobile device, email client or accessing your email directly from, you will need to use your Google username and password.

  • Your Google username will be in the form (staff) or (students).
  • Most people will have set their Google password when they set their main UOB password. If you have not, you will need to set your Google password.


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Can I change my email address?

Staff and students: Yes! If this is the first time, you can use the Request for personal mailname form. Please allow two working days. If you have changed your email address previously then you will need to contact the IT Service Desk.


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How do I create or use other calendars?

Google Calendar provides two options for extra calendars:

  1. Resource calendars
    Resource calendars are for bookable resources (typically rooms) and can be added to meetings using the "Rooms, etc" tab in the Meeting Details page. A resource calendar cannot be the sole attendee of a meeting. Request a resource calendar.
  2. Additional calendars
    Additional calendars are created by users and are not searchable. They are best used for event calendars or team calendars. The additional calendar can be shared by embedding it in a web page or by sharing the Calendar Address (this can be found in Calendar Settings for that calendar). The address can be searched under "Additional Calendars" on your Calendar page; or under "Guests" in the Meeting Details page. The University Key dates Google Calendar is an example of this. Note that when the creator of an additional calendar leaves the University, the calendar is deleted.

In both cases, the calendar appears in the My Calendars list of all of its owners (anybody with "Make changes AND Manage Sharing" permission to the calendar). Sharing can be set as per the Resource and sharing (designate) FAQs.

Note that we recommend all non-personal calendars have at least two owners, since they are hard to recover if all owners leave the University.


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Which Google Apps can I use

  • Taught students have access to all Google Apps.
  • Staff and PGR currently only have access to Email, Calendar, Drive, Groups, Talk, G+ and Hangouts. This is for a number of reasons. The major reason is that these are the only Google Apps covered by our "safe harbour" agreement that gives an extra layer of protection to our data. You can of course also sign up to other Google services as an individual consumer for your personal use.

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    Should I use a Delegated Account or a Mailing List?

    • Delegated accounts are shared mailboxes, separate email accounts (and addresses) for staff that can be accessed via your Gmail pages. They are normally role- or project- based so that a team can organise and respond to emails jointly; or pass the account onto the next person in the role.
    • Mailing lists (maintained via our Sympa pages) tend to serve one of three purposes:
      1. A newsletter or distribution list (where a central person or team email out to many). In particular, if you are email large numbers of people you should use a mailing list. See also our Mass emailing policy.
      2. A discussion list, where all members (e.g. in a department) can email to everyone on the list
      3. Niche cases where a role- or project- based email address is desired but where there is no need to pool the emails in a separate address (i.e. anybody can email the list but there are only a few members who receive copies of incoming emails). We generally recommend Delegate accounts instead.

    Emails to mailing lists are distributed to all members, not to a pooled account.

    How do I get access to a delegated account or mailing list?

    Delegated accounts

    Access to a Delegated Account is managed by the account admins through a separate web page. See the section in our email pages. If you cannot otherwise find out who administrates a delegated account, please email the account and ask to be added.

    Note that only staff and research students can be delegates of a Delegated Account.

    Mailing lists

    See Subscribing to lists & checking subscriptions.

    Note that UBU mailing lists are managed by UBU not by IT Services.


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    How can I access journals and databases from home?

    See Access to external electronic library resources and databases.  The Remote (off-site) access to University resources page gives more detailed advice on accessing many University resources when you are not on campus. In particular we recommend Institutional/Shibboleth Login and the student and staff remote desktops.


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    What happens to my accounts when I leave?

    Advice on your computer account throughout its lifecycle can be found at Identity and Access Management.


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    Further assistance

    If you have another question, please contact the IT Service Desk.